Thursday, July 10, 2014

Making a Meaningful Memory

I had one more quilt top donated by my friend Diane G. in Greenville, NC for Quilts of Compassion's deployment to Tupelo, MS, and I really wanted to get it done before we left. How much cleaning did I really need to do before we left, anyway?!? PRIORITIES, people!

So, I slipped it in the frame Tuesday, and got the binding ready to go. I even had some time to go fishing and crabbing Tuesday evening...

I got the binding attached Wednesday morning, and popped it in the laundry. I love the post-first-wash wrinkle. I quilted this strip quilt with Glide "Celery" in the Vivacious pattern by Lorien Quilting. I did some freemotion decoration on the raw edge appliqué in Lilac.

I finished early enough Wednesday that I thought *maybe* I could get one more done. But in my stash, I only had two more completed tops ready to go, and I was hoarding them for a different reason. Both had originally been designed for babies that had died tragically, and I had just been too sad to finish them. This dinosaur quilt was pieced for a coworker's third son, Mattox. My friend Meredith and I were hired the same summer, and were science teachers in a small school. Unfortunately, her son had a heart defect they discovered by ultrasound that necessitated early delivery, surgery, and only lived a few days. I love this family, and had chosen the bright colors to suit their personality. 

So, it's been nearly seven years now. I texted Meredith, and asked her if I could finish Mattox's quilt for a tornado victim, to honor his life. Just as I expected, she said yes...and I loaded "Mattox's Dinos" into the frame. I chose this modern, dense quilting pattern in Marigold Glide thread. Meredith's family is full of redheads, and I love this orange for Mattox. I left myself room to quilt in the label.

Last, but not least, I had this final quilt I've moved with my stash since 1996. I was pregnant with my third child when I took a class with Lynn Kough (which, she informed us, rhymes with rough, tough and enough!), author of Stretching Traditions. Her class was "Color and Size Explosion" and we pieced these marvelous 41" square quilt tops, playing with both cool and warm colors, and size changes in our units from 2" to 4" HSTs. I loved mine, and laughingly boasted I had my first baby quilt ready to go.

Then I miscarried a month later.

And I was just so SAD that I didn't quilt at all for nearly a year. When I did sew again, I couldn't finish this one. But it seemed to be time now. My baby, that I've always called Hope, would be generous. And 18! So, I'm calling this one "Explosion of Hope." It's quilted in Glide Marigold in Vivacious, with a great plaid backing.

And, with my final effort, that makes 20 quilts traveling with me to Tupelo for the tornado victims.

And hometown newspaper ran a great article about Quilts of Compassion, and me, today! 

I'd like to challenge all of you quilters to make your next project a charity quilt. Quilts of Compassion, Quilts of Valor, or an organization in your local area...they all need your help. You may have an old, abandoned project you can finish. Repurpose it into something beautiful.


  1. Love the stories, the quilts and the quilter. Nice article in your hometown paper. You're very generous, Lori! Tupelo folks will love the quilts you've made, and those you've finished from other quilters. It will be like Christmas in July!
    I'm sorry about your baby - I don't think I've ever told you that. I started quilting, with your group, a year after Olivia died. It was a needed outlet for me!

    1. I prayed for you and Olivia before I knew you, thanks to CPC's prayer chain. I'm so grateful for you and your friendship! Love you!

    2. Thank you, Lori. Love you right back!


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